A computer mouse is a human interface device that operates by detecting two dimensional movements relative to its supporting surface. It comprises an object held under the user’s hand with multiple buttons. The computer mouse features other elements also e.g. wheels which enables the user to perform various system dependent operations. The motion of the computer mouse is converted into motion of a cursor on display.
Bill English’s 1965 publication “Computer-Aided Display Control”first mentions the term “computer mouse”. One of the early versions of computer mouse is trackball, invented in 1952. It used five-pin bowling ball. Independently, Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute invented the first computer mouse prototype in 1963.
There are different types of computer mice, namely mechanical mice, optical mice, gyroscopic mice, 3D mice, tactile mice.
Mechanical mice: The mechanical computer mouse comprises a single ball that could rotate in any direction. The ball mouse has two freely rotating rollers. They are located 90 degrees apart. One roller senses the forward–backward motion of the mouse and other the left–right motion. Opposite the two rollers is a third one (white, in the photo, at 45 degrees) that is spring-loaded to push the ball against the other two rollers. Each roller is on the same shaft as an encoder wheel that has slotted edges; the slots interrupt infrared light beams to generate electrical pulses that represent wheel movement. Each wheel’s disc, however, has a pair of light beams, located so that a given beam becomes interrupted, or again starts to pass light freely, when the other beam of the pair is about halfway between changes. Simple logic circuits interpret the relative timing to indicate which direction the wheel is rotating. (This scheme is sometimes called “quadrature encoding” or some similar term by technical people.) The mouse sends these signals to the computer system via a data-formatting IC and the mouse cable. The driver software in the system converts the signals into motion of the mouse cursor along X and Y axes on the screen. The ball is mostly steel, with a precision spherical rubber surface. The weight of the ball, given an appropriate working surface under the mouse, provides a reliable grip so the mouse’s movement is transmitted accurately. Another type of mechanical mouse, the “analog mouse” (now generally regarded as obsolete), uses potentiometers rather than encoder wheels, and is typically designed to be plug-compatible with an analog joystick.
Optical mice: An optical mouse uses a light-emitting diode and photodiodes to detect movement relative to the underlying surface, rather than internal moving parts as does a mechanical mouse.
Gyroscopic mice: A Gyroscopic mouse uses a tuning fork or other accelerometer to detect rotary movement for every axis supported. The most common models (manufactured by Logitech and Gyration) work using 2 degrees of rotational freedom and are insensitive to spatial translation. The user requires only small wrist rotations to move the cursor, reducing user fatigue.
3D Mice: These devices generally function through ultrasound and provide at least three degrees of freedom.
Tactile mice: Tactile mouse which contains a small actuator that made the mouse vibrate. Such a mouse can augment user-interfaces with feedback, such as giving feedback when crossing a window boundary.
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